People forget it was a time where, you know, Steve and Eydie Gorme were doing one thing, and The Beatles had nice little hairdos and little round collars. Hippies wouldn't be in for a long time. And Sonny and I were wearing Eskimo boots and elephant bells.
Mason: Whose idea was that, by the way?
Cher: Well, it was mine. I had two friends, Bridget and Colleen, and they were making these things. And we got together -- we had a basement apartment in our house, a garage apartment -- we would just sew all the time.
And no matter what I put Sonny in, he'd just do it. He just loved it. Just thought it was the most fun thing in the world. He would wear anything. He just was having the best time.
Mason: You've talked about this a bit, but I have to ask you about it, about Chaz and what she went through. How are you handling that?
Cher: It's great. I mean, it's just great. I couldn't have seen it coming this way, but now that Chaz -- I mean, it's like I was so afraid of losing someone.
Mason: Your daughter.
Cher: Yes. But Chaz is the same person. And I was -- you know, anyone can say anything, but when it's your child, it was all fear-based, you know? But I was just thinking, 'Well, where's that child gonna go? What's gonna happen? You know, how's this gonna work?' And in the transition part, it's difficult.
Mason: I think I would have to be.
Cher: So, no, but we get along great.
Mason: You said you had a little trouble with the pronoun in the beginning and that was it.
Cher: Oh, we still do.
Mason: You do?
Cher: Yeah. All the time. (laughs) I'm just ridiculous. No, he's definitely a man. (laughs) I mean, change, too. 'Cause Chaz used to be much softer and much nicer and now he's very assertive. It's so interesting to see the change. But Sonny's children were like that, kind of.
I'm not exactly sure why. All of the kids are that way, and I think it was because everyone was a little bit frightened of him. And so they were very, they kind of back-peddled a lot. But his children all kind of have mild personalities.
Privacy and the Media
Mason: I'm going to ask this in a big, broad way so you can deflect if you want to, but how's your love life?
Cher: None of your business. That's how it is. (laughs) That's one of the worst things for me because the moment I give the answer, then it's ruined. It's a nightmare. Didn't used to be like this, but with paparazzi and endless coverage and voracious 'Give us something, give us something,' and then you know, the thing that you prize gets turned into something negative.
Mason: Well, as you said, it didn't used to be like that. You've always had a lot of attention on you, but now it's so much more intense--
Cher: It's because somehow art and reality shows and videogames have turned us into a much different society, [now] feeling less used to more violence. And this sounds like, you know, I'm a hundred years old, but I've seen the change.
So, you know, society moves on. People move on. There's the change, there's the progress. But I'm not so sure it's great for the people. I'm not so sure it gives them a feeling of well-being.
Cher: I think it doesn't give children a feeling of well-being after they've shot a million people for four hours.
Mason: I was talking to Jessica Lange a couple of years ago, and she was basically saying if she'd had to go through what actresses now have to go through in terms of being followed and scrutinized, she wasn't sure she'd do it.
Cher: I think she's right, because the one thing that I've lost that's the most important thing -- and I always had to give it up a little bit, but not completely -- is freedom. I have no freedom to just do what I want and go where I want.
I used to be able to run into Cross Creek looking like a bum, and now they're everywhere. And, like, when I turned 60 -- was it 60? No, it must have been much later than that, I was learning how to paddleboard in Hawaii. And I was having the best time not realizing that it was gonna be in People magazine.
They didn't say anything nasty, but you just don't want that your whole life. And it's worse now. You just don't want everybody being able to know every single thing you do and being everywhere you go. So I miss my freedom. I miss, like, my friends, we used to ride our motorcycles, take long trips up the coast . . . [When] people started jumping out of the bushes at you, with their cameras and their video and stuff like that, it kind of takes the joy out of it, a little bit.
"Dear Mom, Love Cher"
Mason: You made a documentary with your mom. It was really cool. What brought that about?
Cher: It was originally a birthday present. My sister said, 'You know, Stupid' -- which is what my sister calls me -- 'Mom found these old tapes in her garage, and would you see what you can do with them?' My mom was just completely over the moon [with them]. So then I thought, maybe what I'll do as her birthday present is I'll make a little documentary with her. And so I got her to the studio, and said, 'I'm going to shoot you singing your songs, and then I'm going to interview you.' She was overjoyed, out of her mind.
And then I was editing it and my friend and agent, Risa [Shapiro], came in, and she said, 'This is too good for just a birthday present.' And she showed it to the people at Lifetime, and they liked it. And so they had someone make a really good documentary.
To view a trailer for "Dear Mom, Love Cher," click on the video player below.
Mason: Had you heard your mom sing before?
Cher: Oh, God, yeah, from the time I can remember. I mean, I remember [her] talking and singing pretty much at the same time.
Mason: One of the things that's so striking is you sound really similar.